Thursday, May 30, 2013

Knitting across England - Day 5

Today's walk is known as the toughest length is the journey. It is 16.5 miles and it goes up about 4000 feet while also coming down that much over a very steep, rocky ridge. Let me mention again that there are very few switchbacks in England. One goes straight up and down the mountains.  Add to that the worst weather possible and that pretty much describes our day.

We started our ascent early in the morning to some light rain. As we gained elevation, the winds increased so much that we had a hard time just standing up. As we reached the summit there was fog and driving rain that felt like pins against our face. The paths are not marked well and we could not see ahead of us. It was blowing our waterproof bags right off our backpacks. Thankfully, we met up with two other parties at the crest of the hill and between all of us we were able to find our route. This was the most frightening hiking experience I have ever had.   I literally limped into the town that evening, soaking wet and exhausted.

What does this have to do with knitting?  I am amazed that through all the harshest of conditions, the hearty sheep up on the mountain seemed unphased. Here we were, struggling to stand up and not being able to see more than a few feet ahead of us when suddenly a creature would come into view in the mist.  It would take me off guard for a moment until I could recognize it as a Swaledale sheep, just going about its business as if nothing extraordinary was happening around it.  It made me grateful for the warm waterproof will these sheep share with us. They have been great providers of textiles to their human counterparts throughout the ages. Thank you, sheep!

1 comment:

BetsyInRI said...

Yikes! Wow- what a day you had! I'm glad you seem to have been able to recover the next day - You poor thing! What a wonderful image of a placid sheep appearing in front of your eyes out of the mist and rain...placidly grazing or just chewing its cud....Aww! Nice sheepies! Hope you've dried off and are warm...